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  • Teaching Kids

    Teaching Kids

    Q: How would you approach teaching children? Trying to keep it interesting while teaching technique, reading and material seems an impossible combination to me. Kids just don’t have the patience that adults do. Any advice? A: My advice? Teach adults! Seriously, this has perplexed me as well and I’ve had to become honest with myself... »

  • Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 3: Warm Up & Exercise Tips

    Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 3: Warm Up & Exercise Tips

    Bass Playing as a Sport Approaching the bass in the same manner athletes approach their chosen field of endeavor will pay dividends in stamina, injury reduction, and improved playing. Just as an athlete trains for an event in which they have to perform at their best, bassists practice, rehearse, and gig for hours at a... »

  • Playing By Yourself: A Guide to Inspirational Practice Routines

    Playing By Yourself: A Guide to Inspirational Practice Routines

    Q: I have a hard time remaining interested when I try and practice at home by myself. I have no problem finding inspiration when playing with others, but I quickly get bored and want to stop playing when I’m home alone. Have any tips? A: I think this is a common issue. Many of us... »

  • Tips for Memorizing Music

    Tips for Memorizing Music

    I have trouble memorizing. Do you have any suggestions? —–Gina D. In general, if we have played a piece enough times, we often find we have memorized it without trying. However, some pieces (and styles of music) are more difficult to memorize than others and may require special attention. Also, on occasion, we may also... »

  • Custom Shop: Verellen Amplifiers

    Custom Shop: Verellen Amplifiers

    So far in the Custom Shop series, we’ve asked luthiers about building custom bass guitars. This time we got the chance to talk to Ben Verellen to look into a perhaps lesser-known market: custom amplifiers. Based in Seattle, Washington, Ben Verellen of Verellen Amplifiers grew up playing bass and eventually decided to go to school... »

  • Approaches to Music Arranging

    Approaches to Music Arranging

    Q: How do you go about making your song arrangements? Do you have a plan from the beginning for the different instruments, or do you let the other musicians fill in the gaps based on their experience/ideas? I imagine that the distance between what you intend to create vs. what you actually create is much... »

  • Making the Shift: from 4- to 6-String Bass

    Making the Shift: from 4- to 6-String Bass

    Q: Do you have any advice for those looking to make the leap from a 4 string to a 6 string bass? A: I made the leap directly from a 4 to a 6 string bass, and had the advantage of making the switch while I was attending music school, at Berklee. This is an... »

  • Essential Accessories for Your First Upright

    Essential Accessories for Your First Upright

    For many people, buying an upright bass is a financial transaction that requires some planning. Nearly everyone wants the highest quality instrument they can afford and, as a result, many spend their last available dollar (or more!) on the instrument itself. This is completely understandable, and laudable. However, if it’s your first upright you should... »

  • Custom Shop: Skjold Design Guitars

    Custom Shop: Skjold Design Guitars

    Pete Skjold had been playing bass for several years when he realized that to get what he wanted, he would have to design it himself. Eleven years after his first design, he began building full-time under the moniker Skjold Design Guitars, producing around 35 handmade basses annually. A bass enthusiast to the core, we first... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: A Call for Questions

    Ask Damian Erskine: A Call for Questions

    First, thanks to all of you who write in with comments about this column. I get a lot of great feedback from you, and I appreciate it very much. Please keep it coming! This column starts with reader questions, and at the moment, I’ve run out. Here’s where you come in! Send me your questions.... »